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Terror In Israel: Time To Take Out The Trash

(Source Photo: Zoriah; https://www.flickr.com/photos/zoriah/3170393154/)

Our enemies are relentless in their hatred of us and desire to kill as many of us Jews as they can. In Israel, in the last month alone, there have been four brazen terror attacks that have left 14 dead and many more gravely wounded.

What stands out about these attacks is that the enemy is hitting us in our major cities not from over the border or from the battlefield, but right from within our span of control like back in the days of the Intifada. The two most recent attacks in Tel Aviv and Bnei Brak were carried out by Palestinians from the West Bank, and the other two attacks in Hadera and Be’er Sheva were carried out by members of Israel’s Arab minority who were aligned to ISIS. Other unrest has been taking place in Jerusalem or on a bus just outside of it by an attacker with a screwdriver, and with the fanaticism around Ramadan now, there is concern about even greater violence brewing. As my father used to say, this is Israel’s Achilles heel (i.e., the enemy from within) and like Rabbi Meir Kahane used to preach this can be a cancer that devours our people.

Perhaps, we can learn something from Passover which starts this week in how we can handle this next wave of Palestinian terrorism. I would suggest that we need to treat these terrorists the same that we treat chametz (leavened bread) on Pesach. There are three obligatory laws for getting rid of chametz.

  1. We need to disown the chametz (and we do that by selling it). In the case of Palestinian terrorists, we need to stop trying to “own” their problem. They are not our problem; they are their own people’s problem. They grow up and learn anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and blind hatred of America and the West from the tender young age. They are brainwashed from radicals in their own cities and villages that spew garbage about the Jews being the children of apes and dogs. They learn to carry guns, knives, and wear suicide vests and to become martyrs. They are taught that the Jewish infidels must be expelled and utterly destroyed. In many cases, the ridiculous United Nation Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is paying for these textbooks filled with garbage messages of hate and violence. And as much as we wish that their families and educators would instead teach love, peace, and tolerance, we are not their parents, preachers, or teachers. All we can do is to try to live proper lives that have positive attitudes, attributes and messages, and generally be good examples or as we learn (Isaiah 49:6) a “light unto the nations.”
  2. We need to search for the chametz. Typically, on Passover, we take a candle, spoon and feather and canvas our homes for the slightest spec of chametz because it is not allowed.  Similarly, we need to be constantly on our guard and ever-vigilant in searching and routing out the terrorists. We need to use each and every means of our military, security services, intelligence, informers, technology, and barriers to find and stop the terrorists before they have the opportunity to carry out their evil plots on us. We need to shine the light of the candle and create transparency where the haters and terrorists would prefer malign darkness. We need to flush them out so that no chametz remains.
  3. We need to destroy (literally burn) the chametz. Chametz is risen and a manifestation of arrogance and like the terrorists, represents a flagrant disregard for the rights of others and for life itself. We can’t have “mercy” on terrorists! The terrorists, who indiscriminately attack innocent men, women, and children are just like Amalek that mercilessly attacked the weak and infirm from the Jewish people after their redemption from Egyptian servitude, and we are commanded to blot them out. Similarly, we must hunt and kill the terrorists the same way that the United States did to Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attack through the training, determination, and bravery of intelligence and special operations forces. We must proactively go after and wipe out the terrorists to prevent the next attack and the death of other innocents.

The Rabbi’s sermon in synagogue today explained that the Hebrew words for chametz (חמץ) and matzah (מצה) are very similar. The main difference is that matzah has a ה and has an open hatch, while chametz has a ח that is closed. To me, this makes sense in that matzah, which is open (and actually has holes all over it), signifies us letting out the rising (i.e., arrogance) from within, and humbling ourselves so we can live a holy life, loving our fellow man and serving Hashem. However, chametz, which is closed, risen, and haughty represents intolerance of others, hate, and violence like that of the endless bloodthirsty terrorists for us.

Therefore, Passover, which is the holiday of liberation and freedom, is also when we must acknowledge that hate and terror is inconsistent with faith and holiness. The terrorists impinge on our freedom to live as a free people in our own land. On Passover, we must renew ourselves with the strength, determination, and perseverance to rid ourselves of the chametz, not only as represented by food but metaphysically by those filled with haughtiness, intolerance, hate, and violence towards us. As is obligatory on Passover, we must disown, search, and destroy the chametz to purify ourselves, but also in the case of the terrorists, so they do not defile the Holy Land and wash it in the blood of innocent victims anymore.

About the Author
Andy Blumenthal is a dynamic, award-winning leader who writes frequently about Jewish life, culture, and security. All opinions are his own.
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